Hot and wet and dry and warm and cold

The weather’s been all over the place: hot and sultry one moment, thundery and cool the next. Clear and dry, cold and wet. I was looking at one of the weather websites recently and was baffled by this prediction. On Wednesday there was a 100% chance of 20 mm of rain, but by Friday there would be a 10% less chance of twice as much. Huh?

The creek was clear and dry on Sunday morning but the water looked dirty and horrible. A frothy scum bristled around the water’s edge and, even though it’s run quite frequently recently, there was still a huge amount of litter.

If I needed cheering up then this huge graffito under the railway bridge did the trick. These monster tags take themselves too seriously sometimes, but how can you not like a pink one with a cute elephant face?

The air felt spring-like. By the gap in the railway fence there’s a blue-tongue that’s taken to warming himself up in the mornings.

He’s there as regular as clockwork but he needs to be careful; recently I’ve seen a swamp harrier patrolling the reed beds. There was a black-shouldered kite on this patch but, since the arrival of the harrier, he’s made himself scarce. I was surprised. Given that the swamp harrier’s so much bigger than the kite I’d have thought that they’d have different prey sizes but perhaps it’s a territory thing. Either way, the swamp harrier looks incredibly impressive, lolling through the air with deep, lazy sweeps of the wing. He may be after rabbits as the gasworks is teeming with kits at the moment. This one wasn’t looking too lively though.

The banksia are in flower. I don’t know if it’s something natural or whether it’s a result of some deep, DNA-altering pollution in the ground there, but the cones on this tree all seemed to succumb to a weird growth. (I can’t remember the name for this: not a lerp or a scale; maybe a gall?)

I saw this dragonfly and it was perfectly still and perfectly formed. I thought it had just died.

When I came back half an hour later it was up and about, off the creek bed and onto the concrete banking. Perhaps it had just hatched and was drying its wings.

By the afternoon the thunder heads had rolled over and a thin rain started. Snails appeared from everywhere; these guys were making short work of an old orange on Newcastle Street. Imagine if they were eleven feet long. Jesus, that’d be scary.

Finally, SantaWatch. Is this the biggest inflatable Santa you’ve ever seen? He was all puffed up on Saturday afternoon, but by the time I cycled past about half eleven he was totally deflated. I’ll bet someone spent Sunday morning with a dish of soapy water and a Vulcanising kit.

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2 Responses to Hot and wet and dry and warm and cold

  1. Neil Keene says:

    Great photos – did you get a new camera?!

  2. Mark MacLean says:

    Sure did, Neil. Lovely new 4S, though I have to wrestle my kids for it as they’re magnetically attracted to it. As my son says, it has its own gravitational pull!

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